Why Salesforce Stock Lagged the Market on Friday

What happened

One day after it experienced a nice 3% bump in price, Salesforce (CRM -0.06%) stock traded slightly down on Friday and was eclipsed by the S&P 500 index’s 0.4% gain. That followed an analyst’s rather drastic price-target cut.

So what

The person putting a damper on Salesforce stock was Atlantic Equities’ Peter Sazel. Before market open, he took a machete to said price target. He now believes the shares are worth $140 apiece, down quite some distance from his previous $200.

There are several concerns behind Sazel’s aggressive cut. Salesforce has seen several changes in the C-suite of late, and the prognosticator believes that this could negatively affect the company’s ability to sign new deals. The latest departure was announced on Wednesday, specifically that of Chief Technology Officer for Security Taher Elgamal.

Sazel also considers its recent decision to not provide revenue or earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) guidance for full-year 2024 to be a worrying portend of slowing growth.

The change in investor sentiment from Thursday was striking. That day, investors were pumped by Salesforce’s announcement of a suite of new functionalities in several of its offerings for retailers

Now what

The recent push-and-pull of Salesforce stock is indicative of the nervousness many investors feel about tech titles these days. Many fear that a slowing economy will lead to continued cutbacks in corporate IT budgets, which would directly — and perhaps quite unpleasantly — impact major tech companies. Since Salesforce is very dependent on this segment, it stands to take quite a hit from such a trend.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Salesforce. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.